Thursday, April 30, 2009

Konstantin Kosachev: "PACE makes errors in South Caucasus"

Chairman of the State Duma committee on international affairs Konstantin Kosachev said on Wednesday PACE insistence to politicize the situation related to South Ossetia and Georgia in its resolution on humanitarian issues was erroneous.

He also told Vesti TV channel PACE is taking no concrete action and is only observing the situation.

"There is no talk about the provision of any funds, about any projects, they simply state that the situation is difficult and we naturally agree with such an assessment," he said.

He welcomed PACE calls on conflicting parties to refrain from mounting tensions and resolve the problems of those people who have not yet returned to normal life.

"At the same time the Assembly continues to make mistakes," he said, adding "several political, politicized amendments were introduced in today' s resolution on humanitarian aspects of the situation."

Kosachev said PACE continues to call the border of Russia-recognized South Ossetia with Georgia as the administrative border like it was when Georgia and South Ossetia were in one state.

"Many believe that any other definition would mean an indirect recognition of the independence of South Ossetia, However, when they say ‘administrative border', there is a feeling that border may be anytime crossed by the Georgian armed or police forces," Kosachev said.

"As a result, the meaning of a border as a factor of protection of the people living in the zone of tensions weakens considerably. Alas, they do not understand it here and thus, directly or indirectly, promote deterioration and degradation of existing problems, rather than their solution," he added.

Earlier Kosachev told Tass PACE decision to discuss humanitarian rather than political issues of the conflict reflected a certain change in the position of the Assembly compared to the radical stance at the winter session.

"The most important thing today is to help people in the zone of conflict, protect their interests and security," he said and expressed hope that "sooner or later mutually acceptable definitions will be reached."

Kosachev recalled that Georgia and South Ossetia are holding consultations in Geneva promoted by the European Union and OSCE.

"The Council of Europe stays away from the process. That is a direct result of the mistakes, which the Assembly and the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe made in assessing the conflict in South Caucasus and its consequences," he said.

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